Cool stuff on Peabody Conservatory's calendar
As I've pointed out before, most weeks bring lots of interesting music from Peabody Conservatory faculty and students. Even as the campus is flooded with prospective students for audition week, there are several noteworthy musical events going on.
On Thursday, the Peabody Concert Orchestra has its make-up date for the program squashed by the recent snow. Hajime Teri Murai conducts a hefty program of Berlioz' "Le Corsaire," Joan Tower's "Made in America" and Shostakovich's Sixth at 4 p.m. (This one is free, and so is the open rehearsal at 2:30.)
There's action off-campus over the weekend (7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday), when Peabody Chamber Opera offers a production of Conrad Susa's fascinating "Transformations" at the Theatre Project. The 1973 work is based on the poetry collection of the same name by
Pulitzer Prize-winner Anne Sexton, who took her own life in 1974. The provocative verses provide sometimes funny, sometimes dark retellings of several of Grimms fairy tales, which Susa treats with an imaginative mix of musical styles. The new production is staged by Jennifer Blades (familiar to local audiences for her dynamic singing in a variety of venues) and conducted by the exceptional JoAnn Kulesza, music director of Peabody's opera department. The eight-member cast includes Margaret Finnegan (pictured here, photo courtesy of the Peabody Institute) as the Anne Sexton character.
Back at the Peabody campus on Sunday (4 p.m.), the engaging organist Donald Sutherland offersa wide-ranging program that features the Brass Roots Quintet, with works by the likes of Giovanni Gabrieli, Max Reger, Richard Strauss, Malcolm Arnold and Astor Piazzolla.
To give you a taste of Susa's "Transformations," here's a clip of the Hansel and Gretel scene from a 2007 Maryland Opera Studio production: